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Thursday, February 11, 2021
MT American Indian Caucus: Rosendale & Daines’ Rhetoric “Deeply Offensive”
“With her background, she has a lot more cultural sensitivity to bring to the position, and that’s respect for the land and all of its resources”
Helena MT – The Montana American Indian Caucus released a scathing letter addressed to Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Matt Rosendale concerning their rhetoric surrounding Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland, the first Native American cabinet nominee, and called on them to tone down their opposition and give Haaland a fair hearing.
Billings Gazette: Montana Native American leaders ask Daines, Rosendale to support Haaland
By: Tom Lutey
In a scathing letter, Montana’s American Indian legislators are calling on U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Matt Rosendale to drop their rhetoric aimed at Interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland, the first Indigenous person ever considered.
Members of the Montana American Indian Caucus said the two Republicans’ characterization of Haaland as a radical environmentalist was deeply offensive.
“When the previous administration nominated a known, extractive resource lobbyist with nearly two dozen conflicts of interest to be the Interior secretary, not a word of concern was spoken,” the caucus members wrote, referring to Trump Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.
“With her background, she has a lot more cultural sensitivity to bring to the position, and that’s respect for the land and all of its resources,” said state Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, a Democrat from Box Elder. “I think that it’s unfair for everyone to prejudge her as unqualified. Why? Because she’s a Native? That’s probably what this is all about, that she’s a woman, that she’s a Native.”
“A Native American secretary would look at it holistically. We’re of the land and Deb Haaland is of the land,” said state Sen. Susan Webber, a Democrat from Browning. “We have an almost spiritual belonging to the land. That said, having all this responsibility, she would take everything into consideration, but the first part is the protection of the land. And I know that’s what Steve Daines had said she would be bad at because he’s into developing all our natural resources for big business. But there has to be some kind of medium, where we protect the land and we provide jobs.”
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